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Second Helping

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The Seahawks nailed an easy one against the pitiful Oakland Raiders last night, giving them control of the powerhouse NFC West. For the Rams this means nothing short of a victory this coming week IN Seattle, is a must, must win. A loss there, and the division may well be out of reach as the injured Hawks start coming back.

Shaun Alexander, who no doubt is salivating at the chance to start against the Rams rushing defense, is very questionable for the game. X-Rays showed his left foot has healed significantly, but he hasn't practiced since week 3.

According to Football Outsiders' DPAR (Defense-adjusted Points Above Replacement ) rankings, Marc Bulger was the second best QB for week 9. Yes! second best!! If only the Rams defense weren't the second worst...

Another thought about blaming the refs for this game. As the first quarter began, with the Rams down 24-17, Bulger's amazing arm, which was connecting with Steven Jackson 13 times for 133 yards, took the Rams down to the KC 21 yard line. Alex Barron then got called for not one but TWO undisciplined false start calls. Then the questionable pass interference call came, and then it was that ridiculous punt...and then it was a KC scoring drive that resulted in a TD. Had Barron been able to maintain just a little professionalism and remember the snap count at the line those two times, Bulger et al might have easily continued the scoring drive to fruition and tie the game. Instead, the offense forced the rather pourus defense out onto the field when they should have been far, far away from a pro football game, and the Chiefs made it a 14 point difference.

Over the last two weeks, opposing running backs are averaging an amazing 7.1 yards per carry against the Rams. According to Haslett, problems stem from the front seven's poor job of lining up and even poorer communication. Here's a telling quote from the Post-Dispatch:

"We're not playing with a cohesiveness. I don't think there's a great trust right now, and that's big on defense. Everybody's got to have an understanding where everybody fits in the run game. You better have a trust that the guy that's (supposed) to be in that spot is going to be there. I think right now, we're not clean on that."
Swell.

If Tinoisamoa can get a suitable cast situation figured out, it will help the Rams run defense tremendously by giving Witherspoon another talented LB to relieve some of the pressure of play calling and being The Man in the middle and the presence of another top defensive talent certainly couldn't hurt things when they face Mo Morris next week.